My kitchen is by no means complete – I don’t own a cast iron pan for example, nor a proper food processor and not even a set of tea cups. But I happen to own a special mill to grind poppy seeds. I sort of inherited this from my grandmother, who as I’ve mentioned before was an amazing baker. I also happen to love poppy seeds. So now the time had come to use this little mill and make a poppy seed cake, or what we call Hefezopf, a simple yeasted cake with poppy seed filling, rolled up, then cut in half, braided and baked. I think this type of pastry is common all over central Europe, I’m not even sure where it originates from. It can be eaten just like that for breakfast or tea, or with a little butter or margarine and jam or honey. Note that poppy seeds are so tough that it’s difficult to crush them with anything else than a special grain mill. So when you buy them, make sure to get the ones that are already ground. Apart from that this cake/roll is quite straightforward. It can be made vegan or non-vegan, both are equally good. If you don’t like raisins, use dried apricots or dates instead.
[Read more…] about Traditional yeasted poppy seed roll (Mohnzopf)
Today, very unexpectedly, I learnt how to make the perfect gnocchi – so happy! My previous attempts to make them from scratch were quite spectacular failures – the gnocchi tasted more like boiled bread and were way too dense. Now I know: the trick is to used baked potatoes, not boiled ones. Baking apparently dries them out sufficiently for the dough not to become gooey. And, second lesson learnt: eggs are not even necessary – potatoes, flour and salt are all it takes to produce perfectly tender and yet firm little gnocchi. They would taste great with all kinds of sauces of course but I chose to keep it simple with some fresh herbs and olive oil – see below. [Read more…] about Potato gnocchi with fresh herbs (vegan)
Pasta carbonara is a perfect comfort food – and this is a quick and easy vegetarian (although not egg-less) version. The fresh herbs give it a light and summery taste and balance the eggs and cheese. Add any fresh herbs you have on hand. I think it would be great to try this with cilantro for example. I hope you’ll like this as much as I did! [Read more…] about Vegetarian pasta carbonara with fresh herbs and toasted pine nuts
Both, potatoes and radish are staples of Bavarian cuisine. White radish is often served thinly sliced and salted as a snack along with beer and pretzels in summer time in the beer gardens, and the smaller red radishes are added to salads or as topping on a sandwich. The Bavarian style potato salad is also very simple, almost plain. With the addition of red radishes, it becomes a fresh but hearty summer dish. Instead of the traditional onions, I used fresh garlic here, which is available in the market right now, but this can be easily substituted with shallots. [Read more…] about Bavarian potato salad with radishes and fresh garlic
May is the peak of the short white asparagus season in Germany and we try to eat as much of it as possible. This weekend my mother and I were cooking together and we decided to use white asparagus in a salad, combining it with black beluga lentils. These lentils are perfect for salads; they cook quickly but keep their firm texture and with their mild flavor they don’t overpower the other ingredients. Of course green asparagus would work just as well in this recipe. And you could add an egg to give it even more substance. [Read more…] about White asparagus and beluga lentil salad